Mark Memmott

Mark Memmott is one of the hosts of NPR's "The Two-Way" news blog.

"The Two-Way," which Memmott helped to launched when he came to NPR in 2009, focuses on breaking news, analysis, and the most compelling stories being reported by NPR News and other news media.

Before joining NPR, Memmott worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor at USA Today. He focused on a range of coverage from politics, foreign affairs, economics, and the media. He's reported from places across the Unites States and the world, including half a dozen trips to Afghanistan in 2002-2003.

During his time at USA Today, Memmott, helped launch and lead three USAToday.com news blogs: "On Deadline," "The Oval" and "On Politics," the site's 2008 presidential campaign blog.

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The Two-Way
5:08 am
Sat April 20, 2013

The Search For Answers In Boston: Why? How? Anyone Else?

A memorial honors the victims of Monday's bombings near the Boston Marathon finish line on Saturday.
Michael Reynolds EPA /Landov

Originally published on Sun April 21, 2013 7:47 am

(Most recent update: 5:10 p.m. ET)

With the capture Friday night of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old surviving suspect in the bombings at the Boston Marathon, the story moves into a new phase — one of trying to answer critical questions.

-- Why?

-- How?

-- Was anyone else involved?

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The Two-Way
1:56 am
Fri April 19, 2013

'The Hunt Is Over:' Police Apprehend Marathon Bombing Suspect

Police officers guard the entrance to Franklin Street in Watertown, Mass., where Boston Police say they have captured the second suspect in the marathon bombings.
Matt Rourke AP

Originally published on Sat April 20, 2013 5:11 am

(We most recently updated this post at 11:10 p.m. ET on Friday. See this note about how we cover news such as this. For our running post about developments on Saturday, go here.)

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The Two-Way
12:20 pm
Thu April 18, 2013

Boston's Heroes Seriously Inspire Ray From 'Car Talk'

After the bombs went off Monday in Boston, bystanders, police and emergency personnel rushed to help those who were caught in the blasts, as this video image shows.
Marc Hagopian AFP/Getty Images
  • Car Talk's Ray Magliozzi on the Boston heroes

Jokes weren't on his mind Thursday morning when Car Talk funny guy Ray Magliozzi was a guest on WBUR's On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

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The Two-Way
11:05 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Obama: 'A Bomb Can't Beat Us'

President Obama speaks Thursday during an interfaith service at Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.
C.J. Gunther EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 11:37 am

  • LISTEN: The interfaith service

"Small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build" do not understand that "a bomb can't beat us," President Obama said Thursday in Boston.

His emotional vow came during an interfaith service to remember the victims of Monday's marathon bombings. It was also a service that served as a celebration of the American spirit and the bravery of the first responders, volunteers and spectators who rushed to the aid of those who were caught in the explosions.

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Ricin Suspect Described As Conspiracist, Elvis Impersonator

A screen image from a video on the YouTube channel where Paul Kevin Curtis has posted clips of his performances — in this case, as "Elvis."
YouTube.com

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 4:44 pm

Paul Kevin Curtis, the 45-year-old Mississippi man arrested Wednesday in connection with the possibly ricin-tainted envelopes sent to President Obama and Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., is "better known to some as a celebrity impersonator," The Clarion-Ledger writes.

The Jackson, Miss., newspaper adds:

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The Two-Way
6:55 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Jobless Claims Rose Slightly Last Week

The scene at a job fair in Manhattan last month.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

There were 352,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration reports.

The "4-week moving average" that gauges the trend rose by 2,750, to 361,250.

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The Two-Way
5:40 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Thursday's Developments

The FBI released this photograph of a man they are calling a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings.
FBI

Originally published on Fri April 19, 2013 7:11 am

Note: We're following Friday's breaking news — that one suspect is dead and that police are searching for the other — in a new post.

Thursday's post:

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The Two-Way
4:57 am
Thu April 18, 2013

Texas Fertilizer Plant Blast Killed Several, Injured Dozens

A chemical trailer sits among the remains of a fertilizer plant.
Mike Stone Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:04 pm

After a fire and explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, that killed as many as 15 people and injured more than 160 others, rescue workers on Thursday are still sifting through the smoldering rubble hoping to find survivors.

Here's what we know at this hour:

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The Two-Way
9:58 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Second Suspicious Letter Found; Was Sent To Obama

A Hazardous Materials Response Team (HAZMAT) truck outside the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday.
Jim Lo Scalzo EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 7:04 pm

Update at 8:44 p.m. ET. Authorities Make An Arrest:

Authorities have made an arrest in connection to the suspicious envelopes sent to a senator and President Obama.

The FBI identified the suspect as Paul Kevin Curtis.

The The Clarion Ledger reports:

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Texas Prosecutor Murder: Wife Of Jailed Ex-Justice Arrested

A wreath of flowers in honor of slain District Attorney Mike McClelland at the Kaufman County [Texas] Courthouse in early April.
Richard Rodriguez Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 11:44 am

"The wife of a former justice of the peace is being held on a capital murder charge in the killings of the Kaufman County District Attorney, his wife and a top prosecutor," The Dallas Morning News reports.

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The Two-Way
7:29 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Pat Summerall Was The 'Voice Of Football,' Says John Madden

Pat Summerall in 1989, when he was broadcasting for CBS Sports.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:49 pm

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Richard Gonzales reports on Pat Summerall

Pat Summerall was the "voice of football and always will be," longtime broadcasting partner John Madden said Tuesday.

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The Two-Way
5:32 am
Wed April 17, 2013

For Thatcher, 'A Great Calm' After A Life Of Controversy

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher's funeral was held Wednesday at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.
Christopher Furlong EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 12:52 pm

Margaret Thatcher, the prime minister whose time leading Great Britain in the 1980s brought joy to conservatives and despair to liberals, was remembered Wednesday for "a life lived in the heat of political controversy."

With her death last week at the age of 87, "there is great calm" for the Iron Lady, added the bishop of London, the Right Reverend Richard Chartres, during a funeral service at London's St. Paul's Cathedral.

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The Two-Way
4:55 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Wednesday's Developments

Flowers, flags and balloons at a memorial in Boston near the site of Monday's explosions.
Wang Lei Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 5:50 am

(Note at 7:50 a.m. ET, April 18: We've begun a new post to track Thursday's developments.)

Investigators made progress Wednesday, as they tried to determine who planted two bombs near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, leaving three people dead and injuring about 180.

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The Two-Way
8:45 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Shattered Family: Blast Killed Boy, Wounded Mom & Sister

This undated photo provided by Bill Richard, shows his son, Martin Richard, in Boston. Martin Richard, 8, was among the at least three people killed in the explosions, Monday, April 15, 2013, at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Uncredited AP/Bill Richard

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 12:16 pm

There will be many heartbreaking stories in coming hours and days about the victims of Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon.

Among the first such tragic tales is that of the Richard family from Dorchester, Mass.

As the local Dorchester Reporter writes:

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The Two-Way
6:51 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Housing Starts Surged In March, Pace Is Fastest In 5 Years

A home under construction in Provo, Utah, earlier this year.
George Frey Landov

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 10:52 am

There was a 7 percent surge in housing starts last month, the Census Bureau and Department of Housing and Urban Development report.

As The Associated Press notes, the pace of construction — 1.04 million starts, at an annual rate — is the fastest in nearly five years and is another sign that the housing sector continues to recover from its 2007-08 crash.

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The Two-Way
6:04 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Strong Earthquake Shakes Iran, Deaths Reported

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 10:39 am

There's been a strong earthquake, with an estimated magnitude of 7.8, in southeastern Iran near the border with Pakistan, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The temblor was centered about 53 miles east southeast of the small city of Khash. According to USGS, it was about 9.4 miles deep.

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The Two-Way
4:28 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Explosions: Latest Developments

A marathon runner, wrapped in a blanket to stay warm after the race, watched Monday as authorities investigated the bombings that shook the finish line area at the Boston Marathon. At least three people were killed and dozens were wounded.
Nicolaus Czarnecki Barcroft Media /Landov

Originally published on Wed April 17, 2013 4:59 am

The day after two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, investigators began to unravel some of the details of what happened, and we began to learn about the lives of the three people who were killed.

FBI Special Agent in Charge Richard DesLauriers said that they believed the devices used in the attack may have been pressure-cooker bombs stuffed with BBs and nails. Investigators said the bombs may have been left inside nylon bags or backpacks.

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The Two-Way
2:28 am
Tue April 16, 2013

NPR.org Hacked; 'Syrian Electronic Army' Takes Credit

Originally published on Tue April 16, 2013 10:30 am

The Two-Way, NPR.org and some of NPR's Twitter accounts were hacked late Monday by an organization that's said to support Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, as this statement from NPR reports:

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The Two-Way
11:22 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Oh, Yeah! Kool-Aid Man Gets A Makeover And A Personality

The new Kool-Aid Man.
PR Newswire

Smashing through walls and yelling "Oh, Yeah!" apparently aren't cool enough for Kool-Aid Man anymore.

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The Two-Way
10:28 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Africans Win At Boston Marathon

The scene at the start of the elite women's division of the Boston Marathon on Monday.
Dominick Reuter Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 2:54 pm

Ethiopian runner Lelisa Desisa won the men's division at this year's Boston Marathon on Monday, finishing the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 22 seconds. It's the first win at Boston for the 23-year-old.

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The Two-Way
9:50 am
Mon April 15, 2013

March Was Cool, But Winter Was Warmer Than Average

In January, coats and gloves were optional as skaters enjoyed temperatures in the 40s and 50s at New York City's Bryant Park.
Mario Tama Getty Images

How wrong was Punxsutawney Phil when the groundhog said on Feb. 2 that we'd have an early spring?

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The Two-Way
8:53 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Will Gun Bill Pass Or Fail? Conflicting Signals Yet Again

Left to right: Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) as they unveiled their plan on background checks of gun purchasers.
Molly Riley UPI /Landov

Here's a fresh headline that may be welcome to those who oppose the bipartisan plan to extend background checks of gun purchasers to sales made at gun shows and over the Internet:

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The Two-Way
7:43 am
Mon April 15, 2013

George W. Bush: 'I'm Comfortable With What I Did'

Former President George W. Bush, as he delivered a tribute at the funeral for pianist Van Cliburn last month in Fort Worth, Texas.
Joyce Marshall MCT /Landov

Since President George W. Bush left office in 2009, The Dallas Morning News writes, he has been "a punching bag for [President] Obama, Democrats and even some Republicans."

But while Bush told the Morning News during an interview for a long story posted over the weekend that "nobody likes to be criticized all the time," he also indicated that the criticism hasn't caused him to question his decisions:

"I'm comfortable with what I did," he said. "I'm comfortable with who I am."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Top Stories: North Korea; Venezuela; And Gun Control

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:20 am

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The Two-Way
6:31 am
Mon April 15, 2013

'Mila' Is First Grandchild For George W. And Laura Bush

Former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush with their daughter Jenna Bush Hager (holding baby Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager) and her husband Henry Hager
Today Show

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 12:48 pm

Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush, gave birth over the weekend to a girl.

Margaret Laura "Mila" Hager is named for her grandmothers, the former president announced in a statement. According to The Associated Press, the little girl's nickname is pronounced MEE-luh.

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The Two-Way
6:00 am
Mon April 15, 2013

At Golf's Masters, A Nice Guy Finished First

Adam Scott (left) of Australia celebrates after winning a playoff against Angel Cabrera (right) of Argentina at the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Ga. In between them is Steve Williams, Scott's caddie.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 10:04 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Tom Goldman reports on the 2013 Masters

Search the morning-after stories about Sunday's dramatic finish at golf's Masters Tournament and one thing becomes clear. Adam Scott, the 32-year-old Australian who won after a two-hole playoff with Argentina's Angel Cabrera, seems to be one heck of a guy:

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The Two-Way
5:22 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Threats And Crises Are 'Just Normal North Korean Diplomacy'

North Korean soldiers marched past statues of founder Kim Il Sung and his son, former leader Kim Jong Il, on Monday in Pyongyang. North Korea celebrated Kim Il Sung's 101st birthday.
Kyodo /Landov

Originally published on Mon April 15, 2013 9:58 am

  • On 'Morning Edition': Steve Inskeep speaks with Andrei Lankov about North Korea

Monday is "the day of the sun" in North Korea — a celebration of founder Kim Il Sung's birth in 1912.

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The Two-Way
4:25 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Venezuela Says Recount Likely After Chavez Heir's Close Win

Supporters of acting President Nicolas Maduro celebrated Sunday night in Caracas, Venezuela, after the initial vote count showed him enjoying a narrow victory.
Luis Acosta AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu April 18, 2013 6:30 pm

A surprisingly small victory margin for Hugo Chavez's hand-picked successor in Sunday's special presidential election looks likely to be followed by a recount in Venezuela.

Chavez, Venezuela's fiery, controversial and charismatic leader, died on March 5.

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The Two-Way
11:28 am
Fri April 12, 2013

Funny Man Jonathan Winters Dies

Jonathan Winters on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in 1969.
CBS /Landov

Originally published on Fri April 12, 2013 3:20 pm

Jonathan Winters, known to one generation for his 1960s comedy albums, frequent Tonight Show with Johnny Carson appearances and comic movie characters, and to another generation as Robin Williams' baby on Mork & Mindy, has died. The news is coming from The Associated Press, TMZ, the NPR Arts Desk and other news outlets.

Winters was 87. TMZ says he died Thursday night "of natural causes in Montecito, Calif. ... surrounded by friends and family.

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